5 Very Common Polite Responses in English

5 Very Common Polite Responses

This is a lesson from my popular Master Polite English course.

Let’s imagine you have done something for somebody, you have helped them in some way and they say to you:

Thanks for your help.

How can you respond?

You’re welcome.

You’re very welcome.

Let’s imagine you’ve invited someone to your home or your office. They are standing in reception and would like to sit down. They say:

Can I take a seat?

How do you respond?

Go ahead. Be my guest.

You could also use this phrase in response to questions like:

Can I use your bathroom?

Can I borrow your pen?

Now, let’s imagine you’ve had a party or a social event and as they are leaving, one of the guests says:

Thanks for having me. (Thanks for inviting me to your party today).

What do you say?

Well, there are lots of things you could say but one of the most common is:

My pleasure.

It’s been a pleasure.

The pleasure’s all mine.

It’s been nice to have / having you.

Let’s now imagine you’ve had a business lunch with somebody – a potential client – and at the end of the lunch, this person says:

I’ll get the bill. (I’ll pay for the meal).

How would you respond?

That’s very kind of you. That’s kind of you.

Now, someone might offer you something. They may have bought something for you or helped you in some way. Here’s an example:

Happy birthday. Here’s a little something for you.

You could say:

Oh, you shouldn’t have (gone to all that trouble).

You’re not saying that it was a bad idea. It’s a common expression we use. Remember to thank them for the present.

That’s great. Thank you very much.

Alternatives (less common these days) include:

You needn’t have.

You didn’t need to buy me anything. Thanks very much.

Because, really, secretly, you’re very pleased they did something for you!

Remember: Native speakers will rarely pronounce the ‘h’ sound in ‘should have’. It often sounds as if we say shouldn’t of or needn’t of. In fact, many native speakers make this mistake and write should’nt of bought me a present instead of shouldn’t have bought me a present.

5 Very Common Polite Responses

  • You’re welcome.
  • Go ahead. Be my guest.
  • My pleasure.
  • That’s very kind of you.
  • You shouldn’t have.

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